140 Balfour Road

19140 Balfour Road
Brighton BN1 6NE

Tim and his family recently bought this 1920s semi-detached three bedroom house. They are completely renovating it, adding a loft conversion and single story rear extension. Their motivation is to make the house warm and comfortable, cheap to run in the long term, but also to help to mitigate climate change.

The approach has closely followed the German Passivhaus standard. It focuses on high levels of insulation on the walls, ground floor and roof, airtight construction (to reduce heat loss) and the introduction of a ventilation system which recovers heat that is normally lost to the outside. There are also lots of low water use goods, such as low flow shower heads, spray taps and low flush toilets.

All of the energy efficiency measures have been carefully modelled using the Passivhaus Planning Package, a software based tool for calculating the amount of energy a building uses. Suitable renewable energy systems such as solar panels are also being considered, but there is quite a lot of overshadowing of the roof from neighbouring houses.


Tim explains some details of the energy-saving aspects of the renovation (4 minutes):



wall insulation


  • + Airtight construction
  • + External wall insulation
  • + Green roof (planned)
  • + High performance glazing
  • + Low water use goods (planned)
  • + Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (planned)
  • + Underfloor heating


Further information

Case study